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PYCLs— GATHER ALL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN EXAMPLES TOGETHER. BRING A BIG NET, OR SHEET, PLUS FLOUR/YEAST/SUGAR. (2, 3, 6)
CedarS Possible Younger Class Lessons for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson:

 “CHRIST JESUS”
for August 28, 2022

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com   (314) 406-0041


PYCL #1: WHAT MAKES JESUS IMPORTANT?

With the younger children it’s always good to ask them what they know about Jesus. Let them share their knowledge and work from there.
What makes him important? Why do we call him “Christ” Jesus?
What’s the difference between Christ and Jesus?

You can then share something about his mission to mankind that is still so vital today. He came to teach us what God is, and what man is. This leads easily into the theme this week of imparting understanding, revealing “secrets”, as it says in our Golden Text from MatT. 13:35 I will.


PYCL #2: GATHER ALL KINGDOM OF HEAVEN EXAMPLES TOGETHER.

There are several kingdom of heaven parables in this week’s lesson. Print them out and put them all on one page. (Mat. 13:31-33–Responsive Reading, B3/Mat. 13:47, 48; cit. B9/Luke 8:4-8, 11-15; cit. B14/Mat. 13:31, 32; cit. B17/Mat. 13:45, 46). Read them together, maybe check out some modern translations.
What do they have in common? Are there differences?

Talk about why Jesus shared these ideas and taught through stories. Do we all like stories?
Feel free to find more of these parables, for example the one about the woman who sweeps her house looking for lost items. You could totally have the younger children act this out by bringing a broom and miming cleaning in every corner.

Bring in a bottle of mustard seeds and let them hold one each. Then show them pictures of fully grown mustard plants so they understand the parable and how a bird might actually be able to perch on a branch of a mustard seed plant.

So if the kingdom of heaven is within us, how do we “find” it?
How do we feel it?
Look at citation S4/26:10 has a sentence: “His mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man.” This reminded me of the kingdom of heaven because of the idea that Jesus was revealing to us the “Science of celestial being”. What is that but the kingdom within?
With slightly older children you can discuss where these kingdom qualities come from.
Are they just qualities that sit there “in” us? Or do they arise from actions that we take?


PYCL #3: BRING IN A BIG NET, OR A SHEET TO REPRESENT A NET.

Read about Jesus gathering the fishermen disciples to follow him, and the next citation about the kingdom of heaven being like a net. (cit. B2/Mt. 4:18,19 and cit. B3/Mat. 13:47, 48)
Talk about what a net might represent. Is it just one thing?
I can see here that nets could be both a good and a bad symbol. So, a net could represent an entanglement with matter or materialistic thinking and pursuits. But it can also represent the idea of something with which to gather humanity before the healing message of the Christ.

You can have the children mime throwing out a net/sheet to gather inspired ideas which you can write on slips of paper, or tape to blocks so that the net can feel “full”. You can also mime getting tangled up in the net with things that might slow us down. For example you can share how being afraid might make it harder to have a healing, or being angry at someone might slow down our happiness.


PYCL #4: PREPARING SOIL…

Look together at the parable of the sower. If the children are old enough, study citation S9/272:3-8, 13-16. Discuss what kind of soil we want to “grow” in.
What is the “soil of an honest and good heart”?
You may want to talk about what the “swinish element in human nature” is.
They might get a giggle out of that image.
Try coming up with examples of the kinds of thought for each type of ground that the seed fell on.
Can they relate to any of them? Most of us can at one time or another!!

It would be cool to find a patch of soil outside of the church to “prepare” properly for a plant to succeed.
If it’s nearing summer’s end you could plant a late flowering plant like chrysanthemum that would last a while and then they can watch it for weeks to come (and you can maintain it, continuing the parable!).
If you have summer all the time you can freely find something that will work in this circumstance!


PYCL #5: STORY OF MAGDALENE.

For some of the slightly older children you can read and explain the story in Luke 7:36-43, 47, 48/cit. B12. What is the message that Jesus is teaching in this story?
What do we each have to learn from Mary’s humility and complete lack of self in this act of washing Jesus’ feet with her tears while crashing the dinner party at Simon’s house?

Try to set the tone here by helping the students understand how she would have appeared in a fancy home–how she would have appeared to Simon and others.
She clearly was way beyond caring about her sense of self here. She was completely focused on Christ.
Are we ever ready to drop a particular sense of ourselves that completely?
This age student may be too young for this, but I find it inspiring to think about.


PYCL #6: BRING IN FLOUR/YEAST/SUGAR.

I’m just throwing this in there because it can be a fun way to look at the kingdom of heaven theme from the Responsive Reading. (Matt. 13:33) In this parable the kingdom is likened to a woman who “hides” yeast or leaven in “three measures” of meal.

You can bring in some flour and have the children measure out three scoops.
You’ll need at least half cup scoops to make this work.
Have them add some instant yeast,… a couple teaspoons, just to make it react quickly and impressively.
Add in a Tbsp of sugar as this will speed things up for the yeast, and then enough warm water to stir it into a sticky ball.
Cover it and let it rise during Sunday School (start this right at the beginning so it has time to rise).

While it is rising you can talk about what yeast does to “meal” or flour–how it actually changes the nature of the flour chemically–ultimately making bread from these few ingredients, if you take the time to bake it!

What does leaven or yeast here symbolize?
Isn’t it a method of lifting thought, lightening consciousness, and bringing understanding?
You could have some fun with Mary Baker Eddy’s chapter in Science and Health with her chapter on “Science, Theology, and Medicine” where she refers to how the leaven of Christian Science elevates these three subjects, like the meal in this parable….if your students are a little older.

Have a great week in Sunday School!

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